January 2008 Archives

photoshop help

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Photoshop interface.This morning I had a Photoshop question in my inbox. I've wanted to use the video capabilities of SnapzPro and Flash as a "help desk" type of solution. It would be quick, easy, and effective while slowly building a library of reusable resources. I used this morning's question as a trial.

A user asked about switching background and foreground colors on a logo. Any Photoshop geek will demonstrate a dozen ways to execute this. I thought this method, using Color Range, would give solid results and provide opportunity for easy adjustment in the future. More importantly, the three minute clip took under a half hour to generate. Most of that time was me re-familiarizing myself with the process; if it was something I did more often, I'm sure less than ten minutes would be added to the actual time needed to perform the steps.

Give it a look if you have a moment.

fluted mushrooms

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Two mushrooms, one is fluted.On Mondays, just as we opened the front door to customers, Blake would come in the back door with three ten pound carriers of mushrooms. We'd go through them and pick out five to ten pounds of nicely shaped small ones with good stems. While we turned out dinners, would also turn mushrooms, using a classic hand technique to produce the small garnish. It was—sorry for the cliché—all in the wrist. The stem was important because it served as a handle to spin the mushroom while the knife hand pivoted over the top, laying open a flute with each pass.

This one wasn't perfectly round, but it would have blanched nicely.

Portrait of Tim.I'd hoped to deal with the MT4 switch this weekend. My plan is to start a new blog: new look, new content with the old stuff still statically sitting on the old URL. Oh well; not gonna happen this week. My room mate was going to play a significant part. You can see his disappointment.

I guess I am a bit behind in project work and could do that instead.

pears with cracked pepper

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Pair of pears.Ten minutes after I finished this sketch, these pears were split, cored, and laying face down in a skillet of bubbling sugar. Once the pears and syrup colored nicely, I added again as much heavy cream with a good shot of fresh cracked black pepper.

My in-laws used to send me a wheel of Maytag Blue for the holiday- they've long passed, but in loving memory I picked up my own to go with this dessert. It's a classic combination and the spicy caramel sauce really kicks it. The pastel would be better, but I was hungry.

landscape illustration

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Tudek Park, winter.Continuing to explore the technique from last week, I sketched this quickly while sitting on a bench overlooking Tudek Park. It was far too cold, getting windy, and people were walking dogs behind me. Don't they know this is my park?

The technique is simple: the ground is dark, and I sketch in white- establishing the wrought iron backbone that runs through the large compositional elements. In past explorations, I sketched in this style directly in color. This required transporting a large box of pastels or paints. This new attempt depends on colorizing the digitized sketch- something I would have once balked at. The final version only exists digitally.

It still needs work, but I thought it might be interesting to document the progress, warts and all. I'm happy with the way it's going.

cloud shadows

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Assessment, tltsymposium2007, collaborate, community.Just as the early morning sun was filtering through my window, a visitor noticed these shadows cast on my shade. They're an experiment from over a year ago; I used acetone to transfer xeroxed words onto glass so that the tag cloud would be a subtle shadow on staff window shades. Few people ever noticed and the idea drifted away.

Not too many got to see an even earlier experiment set in the hall.

Penn State
April 18, Symposium 2009; reimagine.
New content. Symposium 2008.Digital Commons at Penn State. Improve the workplace; hire for variety.

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